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A Chief Information Officer (CIO) provides a different service to an IT director in that they take an overview of the business as a whole, not just the individual department. A virtual CIO is an outsourced CIO, perfect for mid-sized firms that are large enough to need a board-level appointment but not large enough to be able to afford or justify a full-time employee.
The appointment of a virtual CIO will not only save your law firm the expense involved in employing its own CIO, it can also help save money in a number of other ways.
Typically, an IT director is someone who began as an engineer and worked their way up through the ranks. While from a technical perspective they bring a huge amount to your firm, they do not have enough business experience and understanding to align the IT system with your business goals. As a board-level appointment, a VCIO must have a great deal of business as well as technical experience. With a company-wide overview, the VCIO will ensure that your firm has the most effective software and hardware, recommending the most appropriate technology solutions across the entire organisation. This will not only save money, it will also result in greater success in achieving your goals. Investing in the wrong technology can be a costly mistake.
Often what happens is that an IT department will look at challenges in isolation, only developing solutions for each problem as and when it occurs. This is a disjointed and inefficient way of working as it ignores the need for integration. We see many clients with piecemeal systems that have evolved over time because no one has had the time or capacity to take an overview of what is being installed. Taking the wider view before making investments means that your firm will install the most suitable and most effective technology every time, and there is no chance of duplicating – and paying for – unnecessary systems and licences.
Reviewing of finances
Having someone with a business mind reviewing the expenditure of the department will also help. All too often, systems get overlapped or aspects of the work are outsourced but not used. We helped one client identify savings of thousands of pounds which they had been spending on an outsourced helpdesk which staff didn’t use. Having someone keep a critical eye on expenditure would have prevented that. Implementing new systems that align with the business needs of the whole firm will not only save money on duplicating systems, it will also significantly increase productivity and efficiency across the whole organisation.
Internal IT function
One of the challenges of IT is that things change very quickly. However good your in-house IT team is, if they do not have the time or opportunity to keep up-to-date with the pace of technology, your firm could be using implementations that are out-of-date, resulting in inefficiencies. With an overview not only of your business and departmental budget but also of what other companies are doing, a VCIO will be able to keep your team up to speed with developments and training.
The recent crisis caused by the Covid-19 virus has given CEOs a reality check about why they need to have robust business continuity plans across the firm as a whole. All too often, the plan is only managed by the IT department in the form of backup tapes. We recently undertook a consultation for a new client who had been unaware that, in the event of a disaster, it would take three to four months to fully restore the backup tapes. No consideration had been given as to how the company could withstand the data loss. A VCIO with a strategic overview can add peace of mind as they can help build a business continuity plan that is both robust and fit for purpose.
Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.
Luke Harrison, Keidan Harrison LLP
Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020. They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully.The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.
The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.
Adams & Remers
The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc
Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis
Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC
The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.
Lambert Energy Advisory
It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd
Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP
The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd
Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc
Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.
COO, Perrett Laver Limited
Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.
Managing Director, Society Limited
The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.
CEO, The Vita Group
We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.
Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories